This paper presents guidelines for the design of a mass storage system benchmark suite, along with preliminary suggestions for programs to be included. The benchmarks will measure both peak and sustained performance of the system as well as predicting both short- and long-term behavior. These benchmarks should be both portable and scalable so they may be used on storage systems from tens of gigabytes to petabytes or more. By developing a standard set of benchmarks that reflect real user workload, we hope to encourage system designers and users to publish performance figures that can be compared with those of other systems. This will allow users to choose the system that best meets their needs and give designers a tool with which they can measure the performance effects of improvements to their systems.